Intake, digestibility, and nitrogen retention by sheep supplemented with warm-season legume hays or soybean meal
- Additional Document Info
- View All
The increasing cost of feed supplements necessitates evaluation of alternatives for ruminant livestock grazing poor quality warm-season grasses. This study determined how supplementing bahiagrass hay (Paspalum notatum Flügge cv. Pensacola) with soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] meal or warm-season legume hays affected intake, digestibility, and N utilization by lambs. Dorper x Katadhin crossbred lambs (30.6 +/- 5.5 kg; n = 42) were fed bahiagrass hay (73.8% NDF, 8.1% CP) for ad libitum intake and supplemented with nothing (control), soybean meal, or hays of annual peanut [Arachis hypogaea (L.) cv. Florida MDR98; 46.2% NDF, 14.7% CP], cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. cv. Iron clay; 62.2% NDF, 11.7% CP], perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth. cv. Florigraze; 43.3% NDF, 15.2% CP), pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. cv. GA-2; 78.6% NDF, 12.2% CP], or soybean (cv. Pioneer 97B52; 59.0% NDF, 13.5% CP). Legume hays were supplemented at 50% of total diet DM, and soybean meal was supplemented at a level (4.25% of diet DM) that matched the average dietary CP content (10.8%) of the legume hay-supplemented diets. The cowpea, pigeonpea, and soybean were harvested at respective maturities that maximized DM yield and nutritive value, and the peanuts were first cuttings. Diets were fed to 6 lambs per treatment for 2 consecutive 21-d periods. Supplementation with hays of annual and perennial peanut, cowpea, and soybean increased (P < 0.01) DMI vs. control, but apparent DM digestibility was only increased (P = 0.03) by supplementation with annual or perennial peanut hay. Compared with the control, N intake, digestibility, and retention were increased (P < 0.01) by supplementation with legume hay or soybean meal. Responses were greatest when annual or perennial peanut hays were fed. Ruminal ammonia concentration was increased (P < 0.01) by all legume hay supplements vs. the control. Microbial N synthesis and ruminally degraded OM were increased (P = 0.03) by perennial and annual peanut hay supplementation, but efficiency of microbial synthesis was not different (P = 0.52) among diets. Unlike other supplements, annual and perennial peanut hays increased DM and N intake and digestibility and improved microbial N synthesis; therefore, they were the best supplements for the bahiagrass hay under the conditions of this study.
author list (cited authors)
Foster, J. L., Adesogan, A. T., Carter, J. N., Blount, A. R., Myer, R. O., & Phatak, S. C.